CD Reviews

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Jon Ben Berger - Life is Beautiful

This is a debut offering from a veteran singer-songwriter and guitarist of some note. An American, Berger has for many years been resident in Stockholm, Sweden, where this album was produced by another US_Swede and veteran musician, Brian Kramer. Berger penned all of the eleven tracks here, which are well-paced and reflect his personal philosophy...
 
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Telescopes - EP 001

Telescopes are usually used to see into the distance or further deep into space (or into the heavens if you’re a creationist). Telescopes the band focuses more within the world of singer/guitarist Arik Blum. He has recounted that he “wrote many of these songs during a particularly dark time”, which, yes is quite common, but it’s the mellow and brutal...
 
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The Malpass Brothers - Self-Titled

The Malpass Brothers, Chris and Taylor, are young North Carolina natives and multi-instrumentalist veterans from Merle Haggard's touring band. Their self-titled debut, is a time machine aiming to transport listeners to an earlier era when artists like Faron Young, Mel Street, and Hank Williams Sr. filled the airwaves instead of Taylor Swift or...
 
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White Lodge - Split EP

Look at the artwork. Absorb it, let it seep into your pores, this is all you need to know. The deep slabs of sludgy cosmic punk housed within the two new tracks from White Lodge are a perfect reflection of the munted imagery that graces the record’s cover. Just like the garish green pterodactyl that stares at us from beneath a B-movie font title, the record...
 
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Kyle Carey - North Star

This is truly beautiful album. Every track is serenely imagined, performed and pitched, leaving a lasting impression of tranquility, melody and beauty. A second release from a US singer-songwriter with strong Scottish influences at her heart, North Star is an album that merits discovery for anyone with an interest in traditional Scottish roots music and/or modern Americana.
 
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Waxhead - Home

Being commissioned to write music purely for surf films would have to be one of the coolest jobs to land (alongside what David Attenborough does), and this is precisely what Waxhead were born to do. These scrappy Byron-bred rock ‘n’ rollers make super fun tunes that, as we enter the gloom of winter, evoke memories of cracked lips and sandy sheets in all the...
 
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Dik Banovich - Acoustic Roots & Blues

Banovich is mostly a Scot with an unlikely name for a member of the tartan clan. Originally from Chicago, he moved to Scotland as a kid, living in the industrial heartland, and home of some of the most interesting music, in Glasgow before moving North to live in the Highlands where he was a notable figure in the burgeoning folk music world. Now based in France...
 
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Sam Shinazzi - Forever & For Now

Somewhere in Sydney, hidden deep beneath aspiring rappers spitting rhymes about their ex’s and every local DJ’s latest chill house mix, Sam Shinazzi picks up his acoustic guitar. Now I’m not saying these fine musicians aren’t creating something special for the future of our music industry, but I’d just like to take a moment to appreciate what feels like the...
 
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Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

It has been a brutal three years, but the long awaited album is finally here. Yes the day has come, the hills are alive and Kendrick Lamar is back. Firstly, whether or not To Pimp a Butterfly is better than good kid, m.A.A.d city is a hard question to answer. Like good kid, m.A.A.d city, it showcases Kendrick’s masses of talent and personality. With 16 tracks it is...
 
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Five Fantastic New Albums Bolstered by Authentic Songcraft

Toro Y Moi, Mike Scott, Dwight Yoakam, Courtney Barnett and Built to Spill may come from diverse corners of the musical universe, but all have returned in early 2015 with superb new albums. Artist: Toro Y Moi. Title: What For? (Carpark Records). You might like if you enjoy: Big Star, Todd Rundgren, Three O'Clock, Weezer...
 
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Rachel Garlin - Wink at July

“Holding it together is a metaphor/For someone trying not to fall apart/Like the bellows of a loosely hung accordion/That move against a tightly pleated heart/They say it’s like a one-man band/A piano right inside your hand,” sings San Francisco singer/songwriter Rachel Garlin on the second track (“Accordian Song”) of her latest album “Wink At July.” It’s typical of her...
 
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lsd Ratkings - Taringa

The garage rock revivalist movement has truly seen an upsurge in recent years, leading to an increase in often bored and unapologetic teens crawling out of their mothers basement with nothing in hand but a 70’s Nuggetscompilation and a fresh six pack; all in the hope of jamming away in a punk rock band, free from the routine drain of nine to five life.
 
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Romeo Moon - Wander

Romeo Moon’s Wander blends mesmerising alternative rock, psychedelic and intimate folk sounds to create a raw, moody and impressive debut. Formed in 2013 Romeo Moon is a collective of Melbourne musicians brought together by a passion for creating spontaneous and authentic music. Written and recorded in the four months following the...
 
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Clowns - Bad Blood

Raw musical energy and pointed social commentary delivered with maximum aggression are the essence of hardcore punk. It doesn’t whinge, it doesn’t slow down and it doesn’t dance around meaning with lyrical prose. It grabs you by the front of your shirt, lifts you off the ground and smacks you straight in the jaw. Melbourne hardcore punks Clowns have never...
 
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Dorsal Fins - Mind Renovation

I had no idea who Dorsal Fins were, but the first time I listened to them I was hooked like a Magikarp on a super rod. This special time, when I first heard this band, was when I was just cruising around in my car. Mind Renovation, the title track of their new release, doof-doofed out of my speakers and started making me bop my head so much it was as if I’d installed...
 
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